#5OnFri: Five Tips for Reading as a Writer

When I made my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, I was living in Florence and was quite literally inspired every time I turned a corner. As I walked down the quaint streets, beautiful sentences would write themselves in my head. One might assume, then, that my writing reflected the splendor of the city; elegant as the… Read more »

Episode 139: Be the Gateway — Interview with Dan Blank

Hey there word nerds! Today I am excited to interview Dan Blank, founder of WeGrowMedia and author of the new book Be The Gateway that just came out a few weeks ago. Dan helps writers and creative professionals share their stories and grow their audience. He has worked with hundreds of individuals and some amazing… Read more »

Bad Beginnings: Five Story Openers to Avoid

It’s common knowledge that the beginning of a novel is crucial to gaining the reader’s interest and this is especially true in manuscript submissions. If the acquiring editor is hooked, they’ll want to read more and it could lead to a contract. Alternately, if the story fails to grab them, they’ll likely reject the book…. Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Ways to Make Writing Prompts Work For You

Writing prompts can be a powerful tool to jumpstart our writing, but they can also feel like a waste of time…if we don’t approach them with purpose. Here are five ways you can make writing prompts work for you, whether you are blocked, are in the middle of a work-in-progress or simply want to write… Read more »

Episode 138: Writing By Numbers— Interview with Ben Blatt

Hey there word nerds! Today I’m delighted to interview journalist and statistician, Ben Blatt, about his new book Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve. Ben is a former staff writer for Slate and The Harvard Lampoon who has taken his fun approach to data journalism to topics such as Seinfeld, mapmaking, The Beatles, and Jeopardy! His… Read more »

Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense: Does the Label Matter?

When you search for a book to read, do genre labels drive your choices? They certainly affect mine. If I want a fast paced, edge-of-your-seat-experience I look for a thriller. If I’m in a puzzle-solving mood, it’s off to the mystery section. And I expect them all to have elements of suspense. And yet, on… Read more »

Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 9 – The Midpoint

We’ve covered two plot points so far in Developing Themes In Your Stories: the inciting incident, which thrusts the protagonist into a story’s external conflict; and the Act I choice, where the protagonist takes the first step to achieving his goal. Now he’s in the thick of that goal pursuit, but not everything has been… Read more »

#5Onfri: Five Sources of Writer Inspiration

Beginning with a parachute drop in the night skies of 1980’s Afghanistan and ending in the recent Paris terrorist attacks, Assassins is a contemporary historical novel of last thirty years of conflict between Islam and the West. Based largely on my own experiences and those of others I know, Assassins lives this unending war through… Read more »